Becker’s Hospital Review: Caroline Gay a Rising Star

Lakeland, Fla. – Caroline Gay, FHFMA, is one of Becker’s Hospital Review’s Rising Stars: 66 Healthcare Leaders Under 40, according to a just-released list by the well-respected healthcare publication. Ms. Gay serves as Chief Population Health Officer and Chief Analytics Officer for Lakeland Regional Health.

According to Becker’s Hospital Review, “Individuals on this list have achieved executive positions at hospitals and health systems across the country, founded companies and reached prominence within their organizations. Several are entrepreneurs and thought leaders in advancing patient outcomes and care management.”

Ms. Gay, who joined Lakeland Regional Health in 2011, was also named by Becker’s as one of 36 Health IT and Revenue Cycle Up-and-Comers for 2018.

Ms. Gay was integral in establishing the health system’s Analytics Division, with a team of consultants who provide continuous insights, recommendations and monitoring tools, contributing to improvements in infection rates and reductions in falls rates and hospital readmission rates. Under her leadership, Lakeland Regional Health became the first health system in Florida and only the 10th in the world to achieve Stage 6 of the HIMSS Analytics Adoption Model for Analytics Maturity.

“Caroline Gay is a nationally respected force in healthcare analytics,” said Elaine C. Thompson, PhD, FACHE, Lakeland Regional Health President and CEO. “Her passion for using analytics to drive strategic decision-making ensures hospital growth, improved outcomes and the safest care for our patients and families.”

About Lakeland Regional Health

Not-for-profit Lakeland Regional Health reaches beyond its hospital walls to promote wellness, education and discovery in new places and new ways, providing a wide range of inpatient and outpatient healthcare services at its Medical Center, Hollis Cancer Center and ambulatory care locations. Lakeland Regional Health earned Most Wired Advanced and Most Wired status four times since 2013 from the American Hospital Association and has earned workplace awards from Forbes, Gallup and Becker’s Hospital Review. Its 864-bed comprehensive tertiary referral hospital, Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center, operates the Jack and Tina Harrell Family Institute for Advanced Cardiovascular Medicine; a Level II Trauma Center; the Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children, which includes a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; and the Bannasch Institute for Advanced Rehabilitation Medicine.

caroline gay

Photo: Portrait of Caroline Gay


Lakeland Regional Health First in Florida to Hit Analytics Milestone

From the Tampa Bay Business Journal, Oct 8, 2019, 11:49am EDT
Lakeland Regional Health is the first Florida hospital to hit an innovation milestone, and the fifth in the world to do so.

The hospital received a “Stage 6″ on the HIMSS Analytics’ adoption model for analytics maturity, which measures the analytics and innovation used to improve patient care, according to a statement. There are eight levels on the adoption model: five other hospitals have achieved stage 7, with five more — including Lakeland Regional Health — designated as a Stage 6. Lakeland Regional Health is the first hospital in Florida to receive the international honor.
Lakeland joins Stanford Children’s Health, UCLA Health, Canadian-based Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Saudi Arabia-based King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre and Geisinger Medical Center in Pennsylvania. “At Lakeland Regional Health, we constantly look for ways to leverage the data and health information from our innovative technology platforms to deliver the best patient outcomes,” said Caroline Gay, Lakeland Regional Health chief analytics officer in a statement. “Our analytics and clinical teams collaborate well to ensure that patient care is our top priority.” The hospital has taken several efforts over the years to amp up innovation, including a majority of emergency department patients being treated and released within three hours, cutting down on surgical site infections, data mining electronic health records and using predictive analytics to help patients who may need further attention.

The hospital was also named as one of 2019’s “Most Wired” hospital and health systems by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, Lakeland Regional Health was certified as a level eight out of 10 being the top certification level. While Lakeland Regional Health is the first in the state to achieve the HIMSS Analytics’ adoption model for analytics maturity (AMAM), there are over 200 Outpatient Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model Stage 6 certified hospitals in Florida.


Hill Ward Henderson Welcomes Three New Attorneys

TAMPA – Hill Ward Henderson is pleased to announce the addition of three attorneys to the firm, Thomas J. Banks, Jarod A. Brazel, and Jaime R. Maier.

Banks is an associate in the firm’s Litigation and Corporate & Tax practice groups. His practice offers a full range of intellectual property law, including obtaining and enforcing patent, copyright, and trademark rights, and handling related matters in unfair competition, e-commerce, licensing, due diligence, and IP transactions. Banks graduated cum laude from Stetson University College of Law where he received the National Order of Scribes Award in the area of legal writing. During law school, Banks served as Senior Associate of the Stetson Law Review and competed as an advocate on Stetson’s Moot Court Board. Banks also received the William Blews Award for his pro bono contributions and served as a committee member of the Student Leadership Development Committee.

Banks TJ







Brazel is an associate in the firm’s Litigation Group. His practice focuses primarily on real estate litigation, land use and zoning litigation, as well as general commercial litigation and eminent domain. Brazel graduated magna cum laude from University of Florida Levin College of Law. His book awards include Property, Legal Writing, Appellate Advocacy, Legal Drafting, Negotiation, Professional Responsibility, and Law Review. While in law school, Brazel served as a Notes and Comments Editor for the Florida Law Review and as a teaching assistant for Legal Writing, Appellate Advocacy, and Trial Practice. Brazel also holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Florida Hough Graduate School of Business.

Brazel Jarod








Maier is an associate in the firm’s Land Use and Real Estate group. Maier earned her Juris Doctor degree from UCLA School of Law where she was a six-time recipient of the Masin Family Academic Excellence Gold Award, which is awarded to students who achieve the highest grade in a competitive law school class. She received this award in Contracts, Constitutional Law, Taxation of Business Enterprises, Professional Responsibility, Business Bankruptcy, and Advanced Real Estate Transactions. During law school, Maier worked as a research assistant to a professor of Corporate and Securities law. She also worked as a tutor for business law-focused LL.M students.

Maier Jamie








Hill Ward Henderson is a full-service law firm with multi-disciplinary practices. Headquartered in downtown Tampa, with over 100 attorneys, the firm has a wide range of local, regional and national clients. For additional information, please visit the firm’s website at www.hwhlaw.com.


Florida Poly to boost autonomous vehicle research with new simulation facility

Florida Poly to Boost Autonomous Vehicle Research With New Simulation Facility

LAKELAND, Fla. – Florida Polytechnic University will soon have a new simulation facility on campus dedicated to the testing and verification of autonomous vehicle technology in real-time.

The National Science Foundation awarded the University a $350,000 grant that enables the development of a large-scale Hardware-in-the-Loop (HiL) simulation facility for connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs). HiL is a type of real-time simulation that serves as a gateway for the development and testing of complex embedded systems. The new lab should be operating by the beginning of the spring semester.

“I thank the National Science Foundation for their support of Florida Polytechnic University’s research and development of autonomous vehicle technology,” said Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. “Autonomous vehicle research is critical to the future of transportation in the state of Florida, and I look forward to Florida Poly’s continued leadership in this space.”

The HiL simulation facility will provide researchers from the Florida Poly’s Advanced Mobility Institute a more realistic approach to the testing and verification procedures, as they collaborate closely with students on practical and real-world projects related to CAVs. These include research on how autonomous vehicles operate independent of weather or electromagnetic interferences, while surrounded by non-verbal human communication such as gestures and signals.

“So far we’ve been working and generating different scenarios as models for Software-in-the-Loop testing, but only doing it with software is not as realistic,” said Dr. Arman Sargolzaei, assistant professor of electrical engineering and the grant’s lead investigator. “The new Hardware-in-the-Loop facility will allow us to do testing that is closer to real-world scenarios.”

According to Sargolzaei, Hardware-in-the-Loop implementation is a great step forward to achieving cost-efficient and safe test procedures before migrating to road or test track experimentations.

“Advancing Hardware-in-the-Loop application domain to the era of CAVs will lead to a set of exemplary breakthroughs in the field of transportation research,” Sargolzaei said. “We are excited for the establishment of this new facility to accelerate our research mission, which is to make automated vehicle more safe and secure.”

In addition to Sargolzaei, other researchers collaborating on the grant’s research are Dr. Suleiman Alsweiss, Dr. Ala Alnaser, Dr. Jorge Vargas, Dr. Saleem Sahawneh, and Dr. Rahul Razdan from the Advanced Mobility Institute, and Dr. Mustafa Ilhan Akbas from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Florida Poly has positioned itself as a leader in autonomous vehicle technology research. The Advanced Mobility Institute is the largest research effort in the country dedicated exclusively to the testing and verification of this emerging technology. It has developed partnerships with state, national, and international entities such as SunTrax, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, and TalTech University in Estonia, among others.

About Florida Polytechnic University: Florida Polytechnic University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and is a member of the State University System of Florida. It is the only state university dedicated exclusively to STEM and offers ABET accredited degrees. Florida Poly is a powerful economic engine within the state of Florida, blending applied research with industry partnerships to give students an academically rigorous education with real-world relevance. Connect with Florida Poly.


Bank of Central Florida welcomes James Garner as Vice President and Commercial Banking Officer

James Garner- Color
LAKELAND, Fla., October 3, 2019—Bank of Central Florida, headquartered in Lakeland, Florida, announced that James Garner has been hired as Vice President and Commercial Banking Officer starting August 30, 2019.

Since 2004, Garner’s career has been in banking. The majority of his time in banking has been as a branch manager; over the past few years, he has assisted in business banking. Garner has been rooted with his family in the Plant City market for 15 years. He joins Bank of Central Florida as a commercial lender based in Plant City to assist clients with financial solutions and focus on the Plant City market. “We are excited to have James and his banking expertise and knowledge of the local market as we assist our commercial clients in Plant City,” says Scott Folsom, Executive Vice President and Commercial Banking Executive.

Garner is a graduate of Florida Southern College with a bachelor’s degree in finance. He began his career in banking at SunTrust Bank as a branch manager in markets including Lakeland and Plant City. Since 2016, James has been a commercial banker with a focus on the Plant City market for CenterState Bank. He is also engaged with his community as a Baptist preacher and serves as an Ambassador for the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce.


About Bank of Central Florida
Founded in 2007, Bank of Central Florida was chartered to serve the financial needs of the local marketplace. The Bank is guided by a local board of directors with vast knowledge of the local business climate and driven by their vision for a financial services institution that is focused on client service. This approach has enabled the bank to bring the Art of Intelligent Banking to its clients. Bank of Central Florida is headquartered in South Lakeland, with offices in downtown Lakeland, Winter Haven and Plant City. For more information about Bank of Central Florida, visit www.bankofcentralflorida.com. Member FDIC.